Meal Planning – A Fresh Start

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Do you completely overspend on your groceries every. single. week?  I realised just how much we spend on food when I looked over the mister’s bank statements this past week.  Over £1,000 a month, easily.  And yet each week by around Wednesday we’re stuck deciding what we can make from the contents of our cupboard.

Generally I shop online, and although it’s lovely having everything delivered to us conveniently, I often end up with substitutions I didn’t want (with the exception of Ocado, I’ve only ever had one substitution from them) or fruit and vegetables that have seen better days.  I also forget things and end up going to the supermarket afterwards – and spending more. When I’m at the supermarket I see deals that I definitely never saw online, and then feel annoyed, too.  Mid week we head to the local Co-Operative and spend more than we should on basics too.  It’s getting ridiculous.

I always have basic idea of the meals I’m going to prepare for the coming week but I never actually plan properly for how much of each ingredient I actually need.  So, with this in mind, and with the New Year just around the corner, which is when we budget, I’ve decided to try – properly – to meal plan.

I’ve made these Menu planning sheets and grocery list sheets for myself and for anyone who wants to join in – I’d love to hear any meal ideas too as I generally tend to cook the same things over and over – it’s the mister who’s creative in the kitchen, otherwise we’d end up eating cupcakes five times a week.I’ll be meal planning on Saturday mornings as Our Little Adventurer is out at Jiu Jitsu with the mister, and things are calmer here.  How do you all plan your meals and grocery shopping – and more importantly, how much do you spend?  Am I the only one with such a huge bill?

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  1. Over £1000 a month IS high, especially with one infant. We spend way less than half that with 2 adults and 2 (older than yours) children. Meal planning definitely helps, as does where you shop – if you are limited to the more expensive supermarkets or local shops it is harder to keep it down!

  2. That is a lot to spend on food, however, managing anything with three kids and one being tiny is really hard. I am a menu planner and have managed to shop on £50 a week if we are skint. Take a look at Frugal in Cornwall and also Mortgage Free in Three or Utterly Scrumptious for some frugal meal plans and also Daisies and Pie does a fab affordable family friendly weekly menu plan.

  3. I am SO bad about meal planning. I just never saw the sense of planning out a weeks worth of food on a Sunday because how would I possibly know what I am going to be in the mood for later in the week that far in advance?

  4. I plan our dinners out ahead but this is the only meal. There are 3 of us and mom has Alzheimer's so there is only certain foods that she will eat. I have to make sure to keep those stocked up and then I fix a big supper. Groceries I have noticed have taken a huge increase here in the last couple of weeks even with the sales!

  5. I would love to plan our meals ahead of time. Right now though I'm always so behind on these things and make our meals literally an hour before we have them.

  6. Even with meal planning my bill is huge! We have 5 people in our family, live in an expensive state and love to eat meat. I'll be in debt to the grocery store forever!

  7. You are definitely not the only one. We spend way way too much every week on groceries. We plan most of the meals that we are going to make but somehow still end up going to the grocery store several times a week. It doesn't help that we both work at home and have breakfast, lunch, and dinners to plan!

  8. Fortunately, I love to cook, and am very frugal. Hubby asks what's for supper I say, "Moody (that's our last name) Surprise", and what it is is something that I've thrown together, and he loves it. He says the less it costs the better it tastes.

  9. I guess if you plan your menu then it would be more economical. You only buy what you need. There's a lot of money wasted at times by impulse buying.

  10. This is an awesome idea indeed. Doing it with planning each meal and have the grocery list together should work well. I don't really plan my meals. I try to go to the store once a month and always end up going back. Thanks for sharing.

  11. We just started meal planning in our house this past year and it's made a huge difference. Instead of buying just anything and having to go back to the grocery store multiple times we get everything in one trip and save a lot of money.

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